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Turn on a Lamp, Pull Up a Chair

Expert design and fabrication give the Pacific Design Center a new identity.

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When owners of a typical commercial facility request a lamp and chair to beautify their space, it’s typically a minor, subtle investment. However, when Selbert Perkins Design (Playa del Rey, CA) and Carlson & Co. (San Fernando, CA) collaborated to design and fabricate, respectively, these items for the sizeable Pacific Design Center, their work yielded larger-than-life, 25-ft.-tall structures installed on its grounds.

Situated on Melrose Ave. in West Hollywood, the 1.2-million-sq.-ft. Center, which opened in 1975, houses more than 130 showrooms that market products to architects, interior designers and other design-related professionals. Also, the Center offers conference space and the 3,000-sq.-ft. Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA).

The facility comprises Center Blue, the original, 750,000-sq.-ft. space which was designed by architect Cesar Pelli and completed in 1975 and Center Green, a 450,000-sq.-ft. expansion completed in 1988. A pedestrian bridge connects the areas. Yet another proposed, 400,000-sq.-ft. edifice, Center Red, has been approved and will soon be built.

Selbert Perkins Design was initially contacted about the project five years ago, when Cohen Brothers Realty purchased the Center and sought an updated graphic program. Robin Perkins, one of

Selbert Perkins Design’s partners, said the firm worked as part of the Center’s collaborative design team.

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"Cohen had just taken over the Center, and they believed that its environment was too spartan and didn’t feel like part of the vibrant West Hollywood community," she said. "We worked with landscape architects, lighting designers and other professionals to give the Center a friendly, more connected feel with the community."

In addition to the gargantuan lamp and chair, Carlson and Co. also fabricated a 75-ft.-long building sign, which Selbert Perkins Design devised, with 4-ft.-long, reverse-lit channel letters, as well as a 30-ft.-tall, waterjet-cut, pylon sign with router-cut, push-through acrylic.

Carlson and Co. contracted Action Media Technologies (City of Industry, CA) to engineer and fabricate a 56-panel, LED kiosk at the Center’s information desk. Each 8 x 11-in. panel connects end to end to create a 16-ft.-diameter, circular sign that surrounds the desk. Carlson and Co. designed and fabricated its ring-shaped enclosure, and TFN Architectural Graphics (Santa Ana, CA) fabricated its vertical, supporting blades.

TFN also fabricated the canopy sign for the Center’s Astra Lounge, the sign comprises flat-cut, pin-mounted stainless steel that sports a waterjet-cut logo and acrylic, push-through letters.

Carlson and TFN installed the first phase signage in 2003, and the program remains ongoing as TFN continues to fabricate wayfinding and environmental graphics.

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